Last modified: 2011-06-10 by german editorial team
Keywords: hamburg | coat of arms (castle: white) |
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Translated from Hamburger Wappen:
The oldest coat of arms of Hamburg has been retained on a city seal of 1241. It probably existed long before that: a castle with three towers. Over the middle tower there was a cross even then, indicating certain church in the city. The towers and the walls with their pinnacles and the closed gate symbolized the determination of the town to defend itself. The so-called Stars of Mary (Mariensterne) on top of the two side-towers recalls the fact that Hamburg used to be an archbishopric. During the centuries the towers, walls, pinnacles and symbols of the coat of arms of Hamburg changed several times, without changing in character. The use of city seals with the coat of arms was in olden times a privilege of the City Council; the city elders had to watch its maintenance. Even now the coat of arms is protected and can only be used under specific circumstances.
Jarig Bakker, 30 March 1999
Three variants of the arms are used in Hamburg:
Sources: Hesmer 1992, Schurdel 1995, Laitenberger and Bassier 2000 and Gaedechens 1855.
Marcus Schmöger, 30 May 2001